An African-American teacher of Tibetan Buddhism reconsiders the power of anger as a positive and necessary tool for achieving spiritual liberation and social change
For many Buddhists, anger is often thought of as a root cause for suffering and lasting, negative repercussions. In this book, social activist and Kagyu lama Rod Owens offers a different understanding. For Owens, anger is the most important aspects of his personal identity as a Buddhist, social activist, African-American, and gay man. When denied or repressed, unconscious anger can have a negative impact with destructive repercussions. But when recognized and used mindfully, it can be a positive source of vitality, courage, and dedication as one travels the path of spiritual and social transformation. Anger serves as protectorate role as a bodyguard for our personal pain and suffering. When recognized and handled with attention, love, and compassion, it can be a powerful mobilizing factor in our solidarity and commitment to enacting social change. However, too many activist communities have an ill-informed, immature, and romanticized relationship to it. What is needed, says Owens, is a relationship to the heartbreak of anger that is embodied, nondestructive, and deeply healing for all. In this book he offers personal insights, stories from others, as well as well as Buddhist teachings and meditations for tapping into anger’s liberating potential.
About the Author:
Lama Rod Owens is an author, activist, and authorized Lama (Buddhist Teacher) in the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. Lama Rod is the co-founder of Bhumisparsha, a Buddhist tantric practice and study community. He is a guiding teacher for the Thomasville Buddhist Center, visiting teacher with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme), and a visiting teacher with Natural Dharma Fellowship and the Brooklyn Zen Center. Lama Rod has been a faculty member for the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s professional education program in mindfulness for educators and holds a Master of Divinity degree in Buddhist Studies from Harvard Divinity School. Owens is a co-author of Radical Dharma, has been published in Buddhadharma, Lion’s Roar, Tricycle, The Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Spirit Magazine, and recently contributed a chapter on working with anger for Real World Mindfulness for Beginners. He has offered talks, retreats, and workshops in over 5 countries for many organizations and universities including Gaia House Retreat Center, Goldsmiths University, London Insight, Tibet House Barcelona, Yale University, Harvard University, Columbia Law School, University of Vermont, and Boston College.